The Struggle I Chose

The other day my brother, reacting to another tweet, replied, “Love this. You don’t avoid struggles so much as you choose them.”

I thought about this in the context of my running. It’s a struggle I have chosen for myself. To be fair, since I started running in April 2020, most of my time running hasn’t felt like much of a struggle, but there have been moments.

Like when I was back in New Jersey visiting my dad last fall. When I got to Jersey in September, my runs were fun. I ran down the country roads of my hometown, past farms and heavily wooded neighborhoods, breathing in fresh air that smelled like pine needles, or cut grass, sweet dirt and leaves. Then November came and breezy, 70 degree runs became freezing, 24 degree runs. It became hard to run. Hard to motivate myself to leave the house for the pitch black, bitter outdoors. That sucked. That was a struggle.

Then I returned to San Francisco, and a resumed my runs in the moderate climate of the Bay Area where the temperature rarely poked above 75 degrees. Runs along the Great Highway, along Ocean Beach. Runs through Bernal Heights, the Mission District, and Noe Valley. Easy peezy.

Then my wife and I moved to Miami on August 15th and I resumed my daily running on the 17th. Holy shit. Running in 90 degree heat with 70% humidity is a whole new type of struggle. Breathing is thick, soupy, tropical air makes maintaining a low BPM, even at a slow jog, impossible for me.

Once I reach around 4 miles on a run now my heartrate is hovering around 150 BPM. In order to not overheat my engine or blow a gasket, I’ve decided to break my runs into two chucks to make them more managable. I started breaking up my runs this past Saturday.

I’ll be consulting Youtube for better methods of running in the heat than the one I’m currently using.

This is the struggle I chose.